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Volans-i's delivery drone can fly 100 miles, carry heavy-lifting

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【Summary】San Francisco startup Volans-i has recently finished its drone testing of 100 miles in Austin, Texas. It lifted a 4.7 pound semiconductor water-lifting arm to an Applied Materials factory successfully.

Original Claire    May 13, 2017 10:30 AM PT
Volans-i's delivery drone can fly 100 miles, carry heavy-lifting

Drone deliveries have been on the development list of companies such as UPS, Amazon, and Domino's Pizza. Long-range and heavy-lifting drone delivery is what people have their attention on.

San Francisco startup Volans-i has recently finished its drone testing of 100 miles in Austin, Texas. It lifted a 4.7 pound semiconductor water-lifting arm to an Applied Materials factory successfully.

The company founded in 2015 has just graduated from Y Combinator accelerator. It hopes to provide B2B delivery services using drone technology solutions. Volans-i goal is to provide the fastest and most inexpensive on-demand delivery services for time-critical shipments, over long ranges.

On its company website, Volans-i's has listed several highlighting features, such as cruising speed of "up to 200 miles per hour with no ground transportation latency", "track your package with a live feed to the final destination", etc. It also listed the drone's application area in aviation, manufacturing, automotive, and even medical: "Get your time-sensitive and perishable items delivered to you with no delays. We safely carry your perishable items in our temperature & pressure controlled chambers." The company stated on its website.

In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration requires commercial drone operators to keep their aircraft "in the line of sight" of a human pilot, unless they obtain government exemptions. Volans-i co-founders Hannan Parvizian and Wesley Guangyuan Zheng told TechCrunch that the challenge of drone flight is not the technical part, but how to win approvals from regulators.

To demonstrate the flight, they had to design a route where an FAA official and the company's employees could see their drone when it's flying in the sky for a 100-mile round trip.

"In restricted airspace, above private property where we know no other aircraft would come along, we have been able to fly 1,000 miles and carry up to 50 lbs. In unrestricted, or public, airspace, we are only able to demonstrate a shorter point to point delivery so far."

Although the company is not releasing more details about the drones, Volans-i has built fixed-wing drones ranging from 8 to 11-foot wingspans, that can fly from 70 to 200 miles per hour.


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